URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Protesters gathered outside the Champaign County Courthouse to raise awareness about the experiences of children in detention centers at the border.
Local activists spent Saturday night in a cage outside the courthouse to recreate the conditions of those in detention centers. Organizers said they want people to be aware that this is an issue that affects people in Central Illinois.
“Just remember that these people are in our community, that this is not just a border issue, regardless if you see them or not,” organizer Lucia Maldonado said.
Maldonado has worked with children in Champaign County who spent time in the detention centers. She shared the artwork the children drew depicting their time there.
“I have some pictures of them just so people can see these are real children,” she said. “They are in our community. So, these are our neighbors.”
Another organizer, Alexandra van Doren, said as the wife of an immigrant and mother of a young child, the issue hits close to home.
“When she [her daughter] reads about this in her history books in a decade, I want her to know that we did something,” said van Doren.
In addition to the rally, the Latino Partnership of Champaign County is raising money for legal assistance and housing needs for children arriving from the border.